Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Plateau Obliteration - What Worked

After 5 days of obliterating the infamous "plateau" of weight loss and progress, I figured out what worked and what didn't.  The overall theme was that I needed to tighten the reigns on my own habits.

I found that one of the key reasons I was in this rut was due to me giving myself too much leeway later in the day.  My self-created juicing maintenance plan is juice for breakfast, lunch and snack with a handful of raw nuts or a cup of almond or rice milk.  I also allowed myself raw fruits and vegetables but they are harder to come by during the workday, so juicing made it very easy and simple to maintain.

The evenings is where I began to give myself too much slack.  My motto was that if I was maintaining, then I could eat whatever I wanted at night.  After months of this regimen, I began to see more salty, cheesy and bready items creep their way onto my plate.  I have a toddler so our evenings are about quick meals and convenience.  Unfortunately, over time, this equals unhealthy eating habits.

In the end, I found the following to help me successfully break through the plateau!

  1. Get your attitude straight.  Having a "can-do" attitude with positive self-talk and optimistic views lightens your body, your mood and your energy.  By turning my attitude around, I was able to do more and was able to attract the things I needed to be successful.
  2. Kitchen clean-out.  I took an evening and gave away the chips, the breads, pastas, the cheeses, the dips, the chocolate... you get the idea.  It's not that I can't have any of these things.  But during times like this, I needed to remove all temptation and get back on track.
  3. Stock the fridge.  I then went to our local health-food coop and stocked up on alive food.  I stuck to produce and simple grains only (I like rice and quinoa).  I got fresh herbs and citrus to flavor.  If you have good things on hand, you are less likely to veer from the path.
  4. Make juice ahead of time.  I started making some juices with coconut, honey and almond milk just to have on hand.  These flavors really added a depth to my routine and allowed for a sweet treat later in the evening when I was craving more hearty snacks.
  5. Change up the routine.  I needed to desperately add some diversity into my activity routine.  So I decided to switch up my cardio and do some of my old-favorite resistance exercises.  Plus I added in some free-weights just to push myself a bit farther.  AMAZING results.  I could feel my muscles reacting within the first three days.
What didn't work?
  1. Making excuses.  I had to constantly convince myself that what I had been doing was not going to get me to the next level.  Being tired and unmotivated was not an option.  My internal voice kept battling this obvious statement, but in the end... I won!
  2. Not getting enough rest.  I had a sick kid and my mind kept racing with work related issues.  This was not helping me break through my plateau.  It actually had the opposite affect and resulted in bloating and general fatigue.  To stop this cycle, I started drops of Rescue Remedy and then introduced an earlier wind down routine with my daughter.  I would then do some light stretching and deep breathing right before snuggling in for the night.
  3. Saying "Yes" all the time.  I am notorious for saying "Yes" to everyone.  Yet, when I am working on healing myself, I needed to draw some boundaries and simply decline invitations that were self-sabotaging or pushing me past a healthy point.  Sometimes you just need to do what you need to do... no excuses!
After five days, I am back on track.  I lost 2 lbs to get me back to where I needed to be and I am feeling lighter, thinner and less bloated.  I still have some work to do and the daily grind doesn't always help.  But... That is exactly why I juice!  Because it is an easy way to progress to a healthy weight and overall lifestyle.  Without juicing, I would be 30 lbs heavier and still dreaming about what it would be like to be "back in those jeans."  

By the way... I'm wearing those jeans right now!

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